He'd dreamed of creating a "permanent Republican majority" only to wake up from a political nightmare last fall when voters elected a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. Former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich placed the blame for Republican losses last year squarely on Mr Rove.
Mr Rove told the Wall Street Journal he wants to spend more time with his family -- a political cliche. Speculation has already emerged that his resignation is aimed at avoiding a raft of Congressional investigations. (WSJ)
UPDATE: A tearful good-bye at the White House as President Bush said Mr Rove "is moving on down the road" and "I'll be on the road behind you here in a little bit."
"It always seemed there was a better time to leave, somewhere out there in the future. But now is the time." -- Karl Rove at the White House, August 13, 2007
Mr Rove's comments only added to the speculation that he was looking for a time to get out. There are reports he talked about leaving last year -- but leaving during an election year, while he was part of the Scooter Libby case, could have been seized upon for political ammunition by the Democrats. (CNN)
VIDEO: See CNN video of the Bush/Rove news conference